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Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust owes City of York Council £250,000
The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust has admitted that payments of £206,330 towards educational provision and £79,500 towards open space provision, in relation to the 540-home project at Osbaldwick, are overdue.
The payments are scheduled under a Section 106 agreement reached when planning consent was granted for the development in 2007.
A spokesman for the trust said that as early as last spring, the organisation had said in public meetings with its Derwenthorpe advisory committees that it would be going back to the local authority to discuss various aspects of its Section 106 obligations.
“Those discussions are still on-going and as such, are commercially confidential,” he said.
“These discussions will hopefully update the agreement – which was first drafted seven years ago in October 2006 – so it is more relevant to 2013.
“Until then talks will continue and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Mike Slater, the council’s assistant director of Development Services, Planning and Regeneration, said: “The council is aware of the requirements of the S106 agreement and discussions are taking place with the developer.
“The details of any discussions are commercially sensitive and therefore can not be disclosed at present.”
Osbaldwick independent councillor Mark Warters, who discovered the overdue payments, said he wanted to know what sanctions would be applied by the council and also whether interest would be chargeable on the unpaid sums.
He said it was crucial the council took the same approach to the Trust as it would to any other organisation behind with a Section 106 payment, despite the authority’s close involvement with the Derwenthorpe scheme.
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said Government planning guidance was explicit that development must be sustainable and that to be sustainable, the necessary infrastructure must be in place to cope with new development.
“ I would be extremely disappointed if it emerged that the council and the trust are negotiating a deal in which the trust might be relieved of some of their obligations, under the Section 106 agreement, to provide the infrastructure that Derwenthorpe needs,” he said.
“This would also raise questions over the council’s willingness to ensure the sustainability of future developments outlined in the draft Local Plan.”
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